5 Tips for Managing Fitness-Related Social Media

How to Show Value Using Social Media

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With more people spending time at home and scouring the internet looking for ways to improve their health and fitness routines, audiences are more dependent on digital content than they’ve ever been in the past. In fact, one recent global study found that engagement on social media has increased 61% over regular usage rates since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For health and fitness businesses, this means that social media marketing is no longer an optional component of the marketing mix—it has, essentially, taken center stage—creating both opportunities and challenges for fitness brands. In a world now dominated by digital marketing, consumers’ feeds are being flooded by businesses vying to capture their attention. It’s no longer enough to just create content—health and fitness businesses that want to break through the noise need to understand how to create and distribute compelling content that captures viewers’ attention.

Here are five ways fitness brands can amp up their social media marketing strategies in 2021:

1. Go live

Eighty percent of social media users say they’d rather watch video than read a blog, and internet users collectively watched more than 1.1 billion hours of live video in 2019. It should come as no surprise that with numbers like that, more fitness brands are going live to deliver content to consumers across the most popular social networks. The demand for social broadcasting is anticipated to continue to rise, creating a huge opportunity for fitness brands looking for ways to improve their social media marketing efforts.

2. Be inclusive

Inclusivity isn’t just “in”—it’s the new standard expected of fitness brands. Today’s consumers want to align themselves with health and fitness companies that promote equality, accessibility and welcomeness to all. In fact, 70% of Millennials are more likely to choose one brand over another if that brand demonstrates inclusion and diversity in terms of its promotions and offers. Fitness brands that choose to ignore this and continue to tout their exclusivity, or limit their messaging to an elite demographic, will not receive the same support or following as in years past.

3. Consider influencer marketing

If you’re familiar with the saying “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” then you already understand why influencer marketing can have such a profound impact on business. Consumers want to be like the people they admire—they want to walk like them and talk like them, so to speak. So, what better way to boost engagement on your company’s social media networks than with an endorsement from a popular influencer? It is worth noting, however, that more fitness brands are shifting to nano-influencers as many marketing budgets shrank as a result of COVID-19.

4. Utilize user-generated content

Almost half of marketing professionals (48%) believe that content created by customers helps humanize their marketing. User-generated content is an important part of social media marketing because it helps to establish trust between businesses and consumers by providing a genuine reflection of what other customers can anticipate when engaging with a particular business. User-generated content also provides fitness brands the ability to showcase success stories, creating emotional appeal that can have a huge impact on buying decisions. 

5. Invest in social advertising

With almost half of the global population using social media, it makes sense why so many fitness brands are investing in social media advertising. Social media advertising capabilities continue to improve, providing fitness brands the ability to reach their target audience with ease and accessibility like never before. In terms of performance and engagement, social media ads that contain video strongly outperform those that use static images, so it’s worth investing the time to create engaging video clips to get the most impact from your ad spend.

Conclusion

Because the social media marketing landscape is always changing, it’s important to keep your finger on the pulse and pay attention to emerging trends. Fitness brands that want to stay relevant and competitive need to be willing and able to adapt and adopt quickly to break through the noise and develop lasting, authentic relationships with consumers.

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Guide to At-Home Pilates Workouts

Looking for a New Home Workout? Try Pilates

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Pilates, named for its creator Joseph Pilates, is a method of low-impact exercise that focuses on improving flexibility, core strength, control and endurance throughout the entire body. It also emphasizes the importance of posture and alignment, which is what draws many to this form of exercise.

Athletes and dancers often practice Pilates to help balance other training, while others use it as a method of rehab to recover from injury. And while it was first introduced more than a century ago, Pilates has gained a renewed interest over the past year.

The Pilates resurgence

So, what’s behind the recent surge in popularity?

Well, for starters, the COVID-19 global pandemic redefined the fitness industry and created the need for people all over the world to find new ways to workout that could be done from home and required minimal equipment.

In addition to that, “it seems social media has been the driving force behind the recent resurgence of the low-impact workout” as we have seen more and more celebrities—like the Kardashians, Hailey Bieber, Lara Worthington and Phoebe Tonkin—switching out their high-intensity workout sessions in favor of Pilates workouts, and posting about it all across social media. (body+soul)

It’s no surprise that with celebrity endorsements like that, we’re seeing a major growth in Pilates culture.

Rethinking the ways we workout

Now more than ever, we’re seeing people interested in learning ways to improve full body health and wellness, rather than just focusing on weight loss or muscle gain. And while many used to gauge the value of a workout by its level of intensity, we’re seeing more people start to gravitate toward forms of exercise that focus on improving the mind-body connection while still offering a full body workout.

Practicing Pilates at-home

One of the most attractive attributes of Pilates is its accessibility—it can be practiced at home with few items, or at Pilates studios full of fancy equipment. But don’t let the volume of Pilates equipment available for purchase—like Pilates mats, Pilates rings, balls and reformers—intimidate you. There are several types of Pilates classes and methods out there, so you may want to do a bit of trial and error to figure out the best fit for you before investing too much in equipment.

If you belong to a gym or studio but want to practice Pilates from home, check their website to see if they offer virtual Pilates classes. Or, if you want to get started on your own, the good news is, all you need is a Pilates mat and a clear space to exercise.

Before you start your Pilates journey, it’s a good idea to spend a bit of time learning about the five different types of Pilates workouts to figure out which is the best fit for you.

Types of Pilates workouts

Below is a brief overview of the five main types of Pilates exercises and the differences between them:

  1. Classical Pilates: Based on the original form first introduced in the 1920s, classical Pilates is one of the most complex methods of Pilates and combines both apparatus and mat exercises. It exercises muscles throughout your full body to help strengthen them and your core. Because of its difficulty and the equipment required, this type of Pilates routine is best taught by trained Pilates instructors.
  2. Mat Pilates: Mat Pilates is considered the beginners level Pilates exercise, and is therefore also the most widely practiced. As the name suggests—all you need for this type of Pilates exercise is a Pilates mat and floor space. It’s great for getting started and for home workouts.
  3. Reformer Pilates: Named for the type of equipment it uses, Reformer Pilates is the second level of Mat Pilates and utilizes a flat, sliding platform with an adjustable resistance bar. While some of the exercises are similar to Mat Pilates, the mechanics differ as they’re meant to be done while sliding back and forth. This is considered an advanced form of Pilates and should be practiced under the supervision of trained Pilates instructors.
  4. Contemporary Pilates: Contemporary Pilates is a combination of Classical Pilates, physiotherapy and some modern variations. What differentiates this from the other forms is that there is no specified set of exercises; instead, exercises are customized and the moves are modified according to individual needs.
  5. Clinical Pilates: Similar to Contemporary Pilates, Clinical Pilates is tailored to the needs of the person. This form utilizes different props and exercise equipment, and is generally intended to help stabilize muscles and relieve lower back pain. It also requires a physiotherapy assessment to determine functional diagnoses and chart directional preferences.

Getting started

If you’ve decided you want to give Pilates a try, get your at-home space set up and ready to go. It’s recommended you find an area with plenty of room to move around, and ideally in a place with good lighting. You’ll also need to decide if you prefer to try a live or pre-recorded class. Live classes taught over Zoom are particularly helpful for beginners as they provide the Pilates instructors the ability to see you and help you adjust your form.

For more health and fitness-related insights, click here to read our other blogs.

5 Reasons to Practice Yoga Before Bed

Looking for Better Quality Sleep? Try Yoga.

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Yoga is an ancient practice that has long been heralded for its many health benefits, from improving flexibility to reducing stress. But did you know that doing a short yoga routine before bed can dramatically improve your quality of sleep, as well as your quality of life?

In an age of rampant stress and chronic sleep deprivation, it’s important to know what you can do to fall asleep faster and to improve your quality of sleep.

Below are five reasons you should consider practicing yoga before bed:

1. Calm the mind & improve mental clarity

Oftentimes people have trouble getting a good night’s sleep because they’re unable to clear their minds of mental clutter and stressors. Practicing a yoga routine before bed that focuses on breath technique will help put your body and mind in a calmer state, known as the relaxation response.

The relaxation response is the opposite of the fight-or-flight response, and studies have shown it can be elicited through yoga practice, meditation and deep breathing techniques. When this happens, your body enters a lower state of arousal that helps to clear your mind of worries so you can fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

2. Reduce stress, depression and anxiety

For those who have high levels of stress, depression or anxiety, it can be nearly impossible to fall asleep at night. Stress is often a large factor in both depression and anxiety, and people with depression tend to have elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Practicing yoga before bed can help lower cortisol levels and release tension by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps your body and mind feel more relaxed and contributes to a better night’s sleep.

In fact, a study by Massachusetts General Hospital found that the physiological state one can achieve through the three yoga elements of posture, breathing and meditation produced an immediate change in energy metabolism, immune function and insulin secretion. Insulin secretion can trigger the production of serotonin, the “feel-good” neurotransmitter that is sometimes artificially stimulated by anti-depressants.

3. Relax muscles & ease joint pain

After a long day of work, many people experience nighttime aches, joint pain and muscle tension. This is especially common among the elderly, people who work on their feet all day, as well as those who work desk jobs. Practicing yoga and stretching before bed will help release any muscle tension you built up throughout the day, which is essential to achieving a good night’s sleep. It will also help to relax your shoulders, neck, legs and more.

4. Renew your body

Two main ways yoga can help renew your boy is by helping to release toxins, and by increasing the circulation of oxygen. Toxins are often stored in organs and tissue, and yoga can help to release them from the body through various twists, folds, stretches, and sweating. Yoga also helps to release mental and emotional toxicity through meditation and deep breathing.

Pranayama, sometimes also referred to as breathwork,is a type of breath technique that improves the circulation of oxygen in your body to help reduce stress, improve mental clarity and improve physical health. Another added benefit to focusing on breath technique before bed is that it can help with other sleep-related problems like snoring and sleep apnea, both of which can be caused by incorrect breathing.

5. Improve quality of life

Sleep is essential to overall health, and better sleep leads to an improved quality of life. The amount of time and the quality of sleep we get directly impacts how we perform every day. Sleep is meant to occupy a good portion of our lives because that’s when our bodies can gather the energy required to complete daily functions and to process complex thoughts.

Without adequate sleep, both the body and mind suffer, rendering it impossible to perform to the best of our abilities. One of the easiest and most effective ways to improve your quality of sleep, and ultimately your quality of life, is to practice a yoga routine every night before bed.

For more health and fitness-related resources, click here to visit our main blog page.

How Personal Trainers Can Provide Additional Value in 2021

Personal Training During the Pandemic? Read This

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Throughout 2020, we talked a lot about how the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the global fitness industry and how exercise professionals needed to constantly adapt to changing circumstances, and to find new ways to deliver fitness solutions.

While many had hoped the New Year would usher in a return to normalcy, a new strain of the coronavirus, said to be more rapidly transmissible, has perpetuated the cycle of uncertainty about what the future of the health and fitness industry will look like.

Though no one can say for sure what the remainder of the year will look like, below we’ve outlined several ways personal trainers can provide additional value to consumers in 2021:

1. Shift focus to overall health & well-being

Before COVID, many exercise professionals pitched services aimed at helping consumers lose weight and gain muscle tone. This made sense, especially around the New Year when many peoples’ resolutions typically centered around weight loss. Post-pandemic, however, many consumers seem to be more interested in understanding what types of physical activity most effectively boost the immune system to promote full-body health and well-being.

2. Keep cleanliness & hygiene at the forefront

The uncertainty around how the coronavirus can be transmitted created widespread panic and fear that led to months-long business closures. Even after gyms and health clubs have been allowed to reopen—permitting they passed safety inspections and were able to prove their sanitization procedures were safe and effective—there still remains a heightened sense of concern among many consumers. Now more than ever, it’s important for exercise professionals to effectively communicate the cleanliness and hygiene standards they have in place to help ease patrons’ minds.

3. Provide consideration for at-risk populations

Last year we saw many businesses begin to offer special consideration to the at-risk and elderly populations by providing blocks of time when they could shop. This year, we expect to see more exercise professionals and health clubs follow suit by providing high-risk groups with more opportunities for physical activity in the form of individualized training programs, small group training programs, and at-home training programs.

4. Expand your reach

Social media continues to be the leading way consumers search for health and fitness-related information. Exercise professionals who are social media savvy and build a following on popular platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and TikTok will be more successful at attracting new business. If you’re not familiar or well-versed on how to navigate the most popular social platforms, now is the time to start learning.

5. Increase online offerings

COVID was the impetus behind the fitness industry’s shift to digital. But even now that gyms and health clubs have reopened, the desire for on-demand workout routines, remote fitness coaching and online personal training programs continues to grow. In addition to being more convenient for many people, virtual options provide a worry-free, safe and effective means for physical activity. 

While the coronavirus changed the fitness industry as we knew it, the good news is that the general public is now more aware of—and interested in—how physical activity contributes to overall health and well-being. The way fitness is delivered and consumed will continue to evolve throughout 2021, but exercise professionals who are able to adapt and embrace changing circumstances have the potential to recognize tremendous growth opportunities.

To learn how our personal training software can help manage all aspects of your business in one easy-to-use system, click here to sign up for a free trial and online demonstration.

5 Ways to Market Your Tennis Club in 2021 with EZFacility

5 Ways to Market Your Tennis Club in 2021

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While the coronavirus pandemic has been devastating to the fitness industry in many ways, one positive outcome is that now, arguably more than ever, people are focused on their health. More and more people are looking for ways to exercise in open-air or outdoor environments, which has made the tennis industry especially attractive. We also know that many people use the New Year as a motivator to kickstart their health and fitness journey, and memberships tend to boom during the early months of the year.

For these reasons (and more!), now is the perfect time for tennis organizations to revisit their marketing strategies and assess what has worked well, what hasn’t, and what can be done to address these three key areas: member growth/attraction, member retention, and profitability.

In this blog we’ll cover five marketing tips to help you grow your tennis club in 2021.

1. Lay the foundation

In order to successfully grow your tennis club, you need to develop a marketing plan with several different marketing strategies included. The first step is to lay the foundation by defining your audience, target market(s) and competitors. Understanding this information is crucial as it will guide your marketing strategies and help you decide what type of language to use, which tools to use in your marketing mix, and the best ways to communicate your message to both current members and potential members.

2. Establish your brand identity

A brand identity is the embodiment of everything your business is and does, and having a strong brand identity is a must if you want your club to stand out from other tennis businesses. Building a brand, much like building your business, is a process. It won’t happen overnight, but with ongoing effort and the right marketing strategies in place, you’ll be able to establish your identity and build long-term relationships with tennis members.

3. Build a dynamic website

Never underestimate the power of a website—it’s the home base that connects everything. Your website is where you can display your mission, showcase pictures of your tennis courts, provide information about your club and its services, link your social media accounts, and demonstrate expertise in your industry.

We live in a digital world, and you should assume the vast majority of potential members will visit your website before they decide whether or not to visit your club. It’s worthwhile to invest the time it takes to ensure your site is well-designed, easy to navigate, and mobile-friendly.

4. Create content that’s compelling

When marketing a tennis club, you need to content that’s engaging and tailored to your audience and what they care about—things like educational articles, blogs, newsletters, infographics, webinars or videos. By becoming a credible resource on topics that matter to potential members, you’re more likely to be discovered by the right audience and to grow an engaged subscriber base.

Utilizing social media channels is the fastest, cheapest and easiest way to reach your audience, drive traffic to your website, and to establish your brand identity. Social media also allows businesses to control the narrative by deciding what content to share and when. While there’s no magic formula to dictate how often your business should post on social media, consistency is key, so you want to make sure to keep the dialogue going and avoid any prolonged periods of silence.

5. Offer an incentive for referrals

Your tennis members can be your best brand advocates. In fact, 83% of Americans say word of mouth recommendations from friends or family members make them more likely to purchase that product or service, and 41% trust a recommendation from someone they know more than a social media recommendation.

Providing an incentive for referring friends will not only benefit your business by attracting new potential members and revenue streams, it will create a more fun and meaningful experience for your current tennis members, too. It’s a win-win. You can structure a refer-a-friend campaign a number of different ways, like offering a discount on membership, a cash bonus for a certain number of referrals, or giving away free swag are just a few ideas.

Conclusion

With the New Year just around the corner, now is the perfect time to get your marketing strategies in place to help grow your tennis club in 2021. To learn how our comprehensive software solution can assist with your marketing efforts and ensure your tennis courts are used to their full potential, click here.

6 Tips to Running a Successful Yoga Studio from EZFacility

6 Tips to Running a Successful Yoga Studio

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The COVID-19 pandemic has put enormous pressure on everyone’s physical health and well-being, with many people being isolated and confined to their homes for months. Yoga has long been known for its ability to alleviate stress and anxiety (among other proven health benefits), so it should come as no surprise that an increasing number of people have turned to yoga during a year plagued with challenges, doubt and uncertainty.

But despite more people wanting to practice yoga, many yoga studio owners have been struggling after months-long mandatory closures turned the fitness industry upside down. So, what can yoga studio owners do to stay afloat and attract new members during these times riddled with ongoing uncertainty? 

Now more than ever, running a successful yoga business hinges upon the ability to establish a strong brand identity in order to retain and engage current students, as well as attract new students to your yoga business. The shift to online workouts has created a lot of new competition in the fitness realm, but your brand identity is what will make people want to choose you and keep coming back.

In this blog we’ll cover six key areas yoga studio owners need to focus on in order to run a successful yoga business:

1. What is my mission?

The mission of your yoga business will drive everything you do—in fact, it’s why you do what you do. Spend ample time developing your mission statement as you want to make sure it reflects your goals as a yoga business owner and resonates with your target audience.

2. What is the personality of my yoga business?

The personality of your yoga business will shape how you communicate across all boards—from how you talk to your yoga instructors and students to the tone and language that’s used on your social media pages and in your marketing materials.

3. Who is my target audience?

Defining your target audience and understanding how to communicate with them effectively is critical to running a successful yoga studio. Your yoga business can’t cater to everyone, and that’s okay—no business can! In fact, you may even want to consider a niche market, like yoga for beginners, families, athletes, or seniors. Once you figure out who you want to attract, you’ll have a better understanding of how to reach them.  

For example, if you decide to focus on seniors as your niche market, you’ll want to make sure your yoga classes are offered at times that are appealing and convenient to them. Additionally, make sure the language you use to describe your yoga classes are attractive to that audience.

4. Who are my competitors?

It’s pretty safe to assume you won’t be the only place offering yoga classes in your area, so you’ll want to figure out who your main competitors are. Do some research to see what competitors are offering, and then try to figure out how to differentiate your yoga business.

Is there something your competitors aren’t offering that you can? Is there something you think you can do better? Once you figure out what it is, that will become your value proposition.

5. How can I stand out?

It’s difficult for any yoga business to stand out in a saturated market, which is why it’s so important to figure out who your target audience is, as well as your value proposition and competitive advantage.

What can you do that your competitors aren’t? Here are a few ideas you may want to consider to help your yoga business stand out:

  • Offer a free trial: One of the best ways to get new members in your door is to offer a free, no commitment trial. If your competitors offer one free class, consider offering a free week of unlimited classes (or some other variation that’s feasible for your yoga business).
  • Provide referral incentives: Your current clientele can be your best brand advocates. If they enjoy your yoga classes, chances are they’ll tell their friends…but why not give them an extra nudge by offering an incentive to do so? Many of your competitors may also have a referral structure in place, so think about what you can offer that’s different and may be considered more valuable.
  • Host competitions and challenges: Motivation and positive reinforcement can go a long way when it comes to fitness. Who doesn’t love a little friendly competition? The way you structure these should be driven by your audience. Switch things up every so often by offering special events helps create a valuable experience.
  • Keep offering virtual classes: Sometimes people just want to work out from the comfort of their own homes, especially given lingering concerns around the coronavirus. This year challenged many yoga studio owners to adapt to the times by offering virtual classes when studios were closed, and now many people have grown accustomed to the convenience. Even if you’re located somewhere where all the restrictions have been lifted and business is back to usual, consider offering virtual classes year-round.  

6. How can I maximize operational efficiency?

Most yoga studio owners wear multiple hats, and it can be easy to get overwhelmed. Let us help you achieve peace of mind with our powerful yoga studio management system. Create custom yoga studio membership plans and packages, manage contracts and renewals, automate reminders and collect payments all from one platform.

We also recently rolled out our Zoom Integration and Video Library to help you stay competitive during the changing times.

To learn more, click here to schedule a free, no commitment demo. 

Thinking of Opening a New Gym? Read This First

Thinking of Opening a New Gym? Read This First

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If you’re getting ready to open a new facility, you’re probably already thinking about what you can do to encourage potential members to visit your gym, as well as how you can convert those leads into new gym members in order to create a sustainable revenue stream.

The fitness industry is highly competitive, and it’s easy to get lost in the noise. So, what can you do to stand out? Answer: multichannel marketing campaigns.

Below we’ve outlined several gym marketing ideas that can be implemented across paid, earned and owned channels to create an effective multichannel marketing mix.

1. Content Marketing

Content marketing is a form of digital marketing that aims to provide value to the customer in a non-promotional way. In the highly competitive fitness industry, content marketing is essential to boosting brand awareness, establishing authority, and nurturing relationships between business owners and potential members/current gym members by building trust and providing inspiration.

Because the goal of content marketing is to provide value outside of your product or service, the fitness industry and content marketing are a perfect match. Fitness is about providing valuable information to help people better themselves, and the best way to communicate that information is through a content marketing strategy.

Here are two ideas to get you started:

  • Utilize social media: Social media can help your fitness club build brand awareness, expand your digital reach and build customer loyalty. When you use social media for its intended purpose—to socialize—it helps motivate your gym members to keep coming back and inspires potential members to consider joining.
  • Create a weekly blog: Blogging is still one of the best ways to connect with your target audience, and writing about a niche area of fitness can help build your authority as a fitness industry expert. Blogging also helps build your website’s authority and rank higher on search engines.

2. Direct Mail

We live in the Digital Age, and many business owners may think direct mail is dead. But don’t discount the value of integrated marketing campaigns that include direct mail just yet.

In fact, CMO Council’s Critical Channels of Choice finds that consumers have positive feelings toward direct mail, and one out of three respondents say they expect direct mail to be a part of their ideal communications mix.

Direct mail is tangible, and because of that it can actually feel more interactive than digital marketing or email marketing strategies. When utilized effectively, it can also elicit an emotional response from the viewer, making it more memorable than just another email in your inbox.

If you’re still not convinced, consider these stats from PFL’s 2019 Multichannel Marketing Research Report: Direct Mail in the Digital Age:

  • 83% of marketers report good or very good ROI when direct mail is fully integrated into their multichannel campaign mix
  • 89% of marketers report direct mail delivers moderate to major improvement in overall campaign performance when it’s highly personalized and tightly integrated into the channel mix
  • Direct mail has a median ROI of 29%, putting it third behind email marketing (124%) and social media (30%)

3. Remarketing & Retargeting

Remarketing and retargeting amplify your marketing campaigns by reaching customers that are more likely to convert into sales (in this case, new gym members) or to complete a desired action (for example, subscribe to your newsletter). Both have the same goal—to get previous visitors on the path to conversion—but the way they accomplish this task is slightly different.

  • Remarketing allows business owners to reconnect with people who previously interacted with their website through email marketing.
  • Retargeting reaches that same target audience via paid advertising.

Using remarketing, you can reach out to people who didn’t complete the desired action with email reminders. Using retargeting, you can place strategically positioned ads while potential members browse the internet, with the hope they’ll click and come back to you. Both tactics are a great way to reach your target audience—people who have shown interest, but not yet converted.

4. Focus on SEO

Google is the most widely used search engine, and holds just over 92% of the global market share. That said, you want to make sure your business shows up in searches. In order for this to happen, your website’s data must be accurate and filled with keywords your potential members would use to find a business like yours.

Potential members will likely search keywords and phrases like “gyms near me” or “fitness centers in [insert city]”, so you’ll want to develop a list of similar keywords and incorporate those words throughout your site, but only where they’re relevant and make sense. It’s also important to use keyword identifiers in the page titles of your site so Google understands who you are and the nature of your business.

Another way to boost your SEO efforts is to make sure you have a completed business profile on Google My Business (GMB). GMB is a free tool that business owners can use to manage their company listing and online presence across the Google suite of websites. A completed page is essential for local SEO because it enables your business listing to appear in local searches, allows people to find your contact and location information easily, provides potential visitors with a picture of your facility, and lets users review your business.

Conclusion

Marketing is an essential function needed to promote your gym and to differentiate yourself from competitors in order to attract potential members—and, when utilized effectively, marketing campaigns can also be a great way to keep current gym members engaged and to reduce churn.

There’s no shortage of options when it comes to gym marketing ideas, but it’s important to remember that implementing a multichannel approach will increase the likelihood of reaching your target audience and the overall success of your marketing campaigns.

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Using a Gym Questionnaire for Market Research and Data-Driven Decisions

Using a Gym Questionnaire for Market Research and Data-Driven Decisions

« Blog | Written by Kathryn Dressler | | (0) Comments

Some business owners make the mistake of dismissing the value of market research—but the truth is, no matter what industry you’re in, there’s a real need for collecting information for market research purposes. This is especially true within the fitness industry, where gyms and health clubs rely upon a steady stream of memberships to stay in business—and, therefore, ensuring customer satisfaction is a must.

Whether you’re opening a new fitness center location, launching a new fitness class or personal trainer service, or just looking for ways to improve overall user experience, surveys and questionnaires are valuable tools that provide critical insight used to make informed, data-driven decisions.

Here are a few ways market research surveys can benefit your business:

  • Member Knowledge: Learning about your gym members will help you understand more about them, as well as what you can do to improve user experience and customer satisfaction.
  • Competitive Advantage: Survey questions can help you uncover if your new gym members previously belonged to another fitness center, as well as their reasons for leaving. Collecting information of this nature will help you identify what your facility can focus on to gain competitive advantage.
  • Business Growth: Member surveys will help you identify what it is your members really want, and therefore also help you to recognize new opportunities to expand your offerings or services to meet their demands.

Now that we’ve discussed a few ways market research provides valuable information, let’s talk about some common types of surveys and questionnaires you can implement to get the information you need to make more informed business decisions.

1. New Member Survey

A new member survey is filled out when someone first joins your gym. Use this opportunity to ask new gym members why they joined in the first place—was it based on a referral, proximity, cost, or something else?

This type of survey provides you with rich demographic data and helps you understand the types of people that use your facility. Not only will this help you understand how to tailor your offerings to improve customer experience, collecting information like this also helps build targeted email lists for marketing campaigns.

2. General Feedback/Customer Satisfaction Survey

A general feedback/customer satisfaction survey is a way for you to check in with your members from time to time to show you still value their input. While many businesses invest a lot of time and resources in attracting new business, don’t forget about your loyal customer base. Ask gym members for feedback on what you’re doing well, in addition to areas for improvement.

3. Fitness Class/Personal Trainer Evaluation

Personal trainer services and group fitness classes are a big draw for many gyms, health clubs and fitness centers. Because instructors and trainers can have such a huge impact on members, it’s important to survey participants for feedback about how your staff is performing.

4. Membership Cancellation Survey

Unfortunately, all fitness facilities will encounter membership cancellations at some point. It’s just the nature of the business. But rather than focusing on the negative, think of this as an opportunity to find out why and utilize the information to your future advantage. Figuring out why members are leaving gives you the chance to implement changes to reduce future churn.

Before you start writing out your survey questions it’s important to decide on the goal in mind and what type of data you want to collect as this will determine how you phrase your questions. Keep in mind that closed questions will provide a lot of quantitative data, while open questions will elicit qualitative responses.

The good news is, it’s easy to conduct market research online by sending surveys and questionnaires to members via email—and utilizing an all-in-one software solution makes it even easier. To learn how we can help you manage all aspects of your fitness business from one intuitive gym management system, click here.

Why an Independent Contractor Agreement Matters for Yoga Instructors from EZFacility

Independent Contractor Agreements for Yoga Instructors Should Include the Following Criteria

« Blog | Written by Kathryn Dressler | | (0) Comments

Being a yoga teacher can be a very beneficial career path, and it offers a lot of flexibility—literally and figuratively. Many yoga studios hire instructors as “independent contractors” so if you’re a yoga teacher, it’s important to understand what that means for you and how that classification differs from being hired as an employee. If you’re a yoga studio owner, you should ensure you’re fully versed on the difference in employment classifications, and that you have an independent contractor agreement in place as part of your yoga studio best practices.

Why Does an Independent Contractor Agreement Matter?

Whether you run a yoga studio, or you’re a yoga teacher, the importance of an independent contractor agreement cannot be understated as it benefits both parties by preventing miscommunication, misunderstanding and the potential for liabilities or damages.

While yoga is a profession largely based on trust, an independent contractor agreement helps keep integrity and clear communication at the forefront of business relationships to make sure all parties are on the same page. For legal purposes, it also provides written documentation of your agreement, clarifies the responsibilities of all parties involved, and provides protection for both yourself and your business.

What Should an Independent Contractor Agreement Include?

While every business is different, below are some key sections that most independent contractor agreements should include (the below are mere suggestions—please be sure to contact your own legal representation on your specific case):

  1. Nature of the Relationship: This section should explicitly state the terms of your employment and expressly declare you are hired as an independent contractor and not an employee. This is especially important as it relates to how taxes will be paid and filed.
  1. Yoga Instructor Responsibilities: This section should information about what professional standards are expected, the types of yoga that will be taught, scheduling information, administrative responsibilities, as well as including the location(s) where you will be teaching.
  2. Payment Methods & Schedule: This section should outline how and when you will be compensated for your services. It should also clarify if you will be paid a base rate or paid per student, whether there is a minimum or maximum payment per class, when the pay periods will be, and address any other questions related to payment for services.
  3. Yoga Instructor Obligations: When you’re hired as an independent contractor, you’re required to invest in yourself and responsible for covering certain costs (which can later be listed as deductions when filing taxes). This section should outline what you are expected to cover, for example: transportation costs, professional fees, liability insurance, and personal supplies.
  1. Studio Obligations: This section should outline what the yoga studio is responsible for providing, or assuming the cost of. This may include things like cleanliness standards, space and props available to all instructors, and proof of building insurance.
  2. Default & Termination Details: While the severance of a business relationship is never fun to think about (or to deal with, for that matter), this is one of the most important sections of the independent contractor agreement. This section should clarify how, under what terms, and with how much notice is required of either party to terminate the working agreement.
  3. Non-compete Clause: If you’re a yoga teacher who teaches at multiple studios, this is a section you’ll want to pay close attention to. Make sure you fully understand what the agreement includes before you sign anything, as a non-compete clause could have dire consequences if you plan to teach at multiple locations. 

Summing It Up

An independent contractor agreement is a vital tool needed to protect both the yoga studio owner and the yoga teacher. Once both parties are on the same page and the independent contractor agreement is signed, business can be conducted with confidence and clarity.  

Customer Relationship Building with EZFacility

The Perfect Gym Welcome Email Template

« Blog | Written by Kathryn Dressler | | (0) Comments

It may seem like a given, but it’s important to do something to welcome new gym members as soon as they commit to joining your gym. Sending a welcome email is one of the easiest ways to provide new members with all the essential information they need, and it gives you the opportunity to reassure them that joining your facility was the right choice.

If you’re currently using a gym management software like ours, you can easily create a new member email template and manage membership communication seamlessly. But if you’re still managing membership information and sending emails manually that’s okay, too, and we’re here to help.

So, what should you say in your email to welcome new gym members? Below is a sample gym welcome template you can use—feel free to copy and paste it as-is, or tweak it to add your own flair.

Gym Welcome Template

Hi [MEMBER NAME],

Welcome to the [FACILITY NAME] family!

By joining us, you’ve already taken the first step on your fitness journey and we couldn’t be happier to walk with you on the path to achieve your health and fitness goals!

Get started by collecting your [MEMBER ID CARD/KEY FOB] from the front desk, at which time you can also schedule an introductory session where we’ll review your goals and outline a plan together that best suits your needs. And, if you’d like, we’d be more than happy to do a guided walk through of our facility and show you how to use all of the equipment.

To check our hours of operation, view class schedules or to learn more about our facility’s offerings, click here [WEBSITE URL]. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call at [PHONE NUMBER] or simply reply to this email and we’ll get back to you right away.

Congratulations on taking the first step of your fitness journey—you should be very proud of yourself, and we’re excited to be a part of it!

We can’t wait to see what you achieve!

[YOUR NAME]

Or, if you’d prefer to write your own gym welcome template, we recommend including these key points:

  • Thank them for joining and choosing your facility
  • Offer reassurance they made the right choice
  • Provide information about next steps and how to get started
  • Include a link to your website where they can find practical information
  • Include contact information if they have any questions

How to Improve Customer Relationship Building

Ideally you should send more than one welcome email to establish a solid relationship and maintain ongoing communication, so you may want to consider creating a series of introductory emails. Plus, some members may need that little extra nudge in their inbox every so often to keep them motivated.

Below is an outline of emails we recommend including in your welcome series:

  • Welcome new gym members / introductory email: Outlined above.
  • Reminder email: Send a reminder email within one week of the introductory email to encourage members to visit your facility as soon as possible.
  • Value add email: Send a value add email within one week of the reminder email. This should include a mix of fun, educational and promotional material like healthy recipes, How To’s, or tips and tricks. You should also use this opportunity to encourage members to subscribe to your blog, newsletter, and social channels.
  • Upsell email: Send an upsell email within one week of the value add email. This should include a special deal or discount on paid services like personal training or specialty classes.
  • Milestone email: Send a milestone email one month after the member joins to congratulate them on making it to that point, and to encourage them to keep up the good work.

Remember—a little can go a long way when it comes to positive reinforcement and member relations. This type of ongoing communication will not only assist with trust building and customer relationship building, it will also help reduce the likelihood of buyer’s remorse that oftentimes leads to membership cancellations.

To learn more about how our all-in-one, cloud-based SaaS solution can improve your customer relationship building and make membership management easy, click here.